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Amy Gordinier’s 360-Degree Approach to Skin Care

The Skinfix chief executive officer develops need-based products with clinical backing and holistic well-being in mind.

For Amy Gordinier, chief executive officer of Skinfix, all roads point to the skin barrier.

Clinically validated, dermatologist recommended and holistically spirited, Gordinier’s approach to product development has found applications for myriad skin conditions. “We are tackling all skin issues from eczema to keratosis pilaris to rosacea. There is a common thread to all of them. It’s skin barrier health, and specifically, skin barrier function,” Gordinier said at the 2022 WWD Wellness Forum.

Gordinier tapped into her entrepreneurial streak with Skinfix after stints in corporate life, when she found the brand much close to home. Her neighbor made a balm, invented by an ancestor in 19th-century England, that improved Gordinier’s own dry skin and her daughter’s eczema. Gordinier acquired the business in 2012.

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She was immediately intrigued with the formula’s no-nonsense list of efficacious ingredients.

Part of Gordinier’s mandate post-acquisition was clinically validating the brand. The brand’s first clinical study, done on 10 patients with Canadian dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, indicated that “the product performed incredibly well and very quickly, but what was really important to doctors was that, in many cases, the patients loved using it,” Gordinier said, adding that it matched a prescription steroid in relieving eczema symptoms.

Skinfix still relies on dermatologists’ support when ideating new innovations, and has forged an even closer connection with the medical community. Its product development pipeline starts with consulting doctors, followed by searching for the right ingredients and formulations. Then, the brand perfects the product experience itself, before clinically validating the results.

“We have a scientific advisory board of five respected derms in North America, and we work with them to understand the root causes and symptoms [of skin conditions],” Gordinier said.

That approach has also helped Skinfix gain consumer trust. “In terms of client-facing credibility, during COVID-19, a lot of derms took to social media to educate us about skin barrier health. Skinfix was known, loved and respected in the derm community.”

Gordinier’s next frontier is the brain-complexion connection, with eyes on holistic ways to treat many skin concerns’ root causes, which can be psychological. “Psychodermatology is a really hot topic right now,” she said. “This is where psychology and psychiatry meet, and we know there is a direct correlation between skin diseases like psoriasis, acne, eczema and vitiligo, and rates of depression, anxiety and even suicide. There is also a growing understanding of the relationship between levels of anxiety, depression and even trauma and triggers or skin disease.”

“The more we start to understand this, the better equipped we are as a brand to offer information, education and resources to our clients, but also look at ways to build our more holistic therapies for treating skin disease,” she said.